Monday, February 27, 2006

Garden Party

The party would have been perfect if it was not for one thing. The dusk of the summers evening and glasses of wine and just the right number of canapes and how delicately prepared! The gentle hubbub of people chatting and enjoying themselves all looking radiant in their beautiful outfits, lit by paper lanterns and a dark suited string quartet playing away all the time. But oh, that odious Peter Brown! With stinking cigar and prickly beard and that ragged excuse for a tailcoat he spirals into view, spitting out coarse jokes from under the flecks of red wine on his moustache. Of course it is only a matter of time before I am cornered and he presses close to mutter awful endearments and to spit out smoke, slapping his leg with each brutish jolt of anecdote. Chloe and Michael sweep past, cooing and raising glasses of champagne but there is no chance of rescue as Peter capers, snatching more wine from a flustered waiter and lighting another cigar from the butt of the first.

The sun is completely set now and the stars are out and people are dancing slowly to the string quartet by the fountain, as with cautious glances we emerge from the rhodedendrons adjusting our clothing. To my horror his cigar is not only between his teeth once again but somehow still lit. We part company with one final clash between wiry beard and cheek, and back towards the house he swaggers, until the next time.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Somebody else's truth...

George Harrison dies
Originally uploaded by Dolores Luxedo.
'Fiction is telling the truth by telling lies, as opposed to telling less of the truth by telling facts... When you read the great and beautiful liars of fiction you feel that this is what life is. This is true, even though it is all made up'. - Julian Barnes

"Coffee begins to pour"

there's blood on the shoe, it will not do

We didn't manage to go camping last weekend. It seems we might have burnt our boats with quite a few of the sites in the Hertfordshire area. I miss camping in February. I might go sleep on my roof. St. Albans stirs gently in the winter breeze. The Bee Hive has gradually been sliding downhill for the last few years, but the tide really tipped within the last six months, and, gently oiled, down London Road it proceeded. There was a nice couple of weeks when you could lean out of the side window and collect your order from H&H 2. So we found ourselves in the Hare and Hounds, which has become buzzingly popular due to the paint fumes and price rises. We did go into the Bee Hive on the way home, and Nick left through the fire exit to go and look around the deserted Odeon.

so sleepy recently,

perhaps i have ME

going to make curry


Originally uploaded by Dolores Luxedo.
Okay, so Tom and I tried to sell Alice's baby in the Friday Ad. No-one called her. In fact, the first she knew of it was when she opened the Guardian magazine on Saturday and there it was in the "comedy misprints" section. Still, I guess it'll be something to show wee little Alfin when he grows up.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Toeing the party line

It wasn't about being ashamed. It was about decorum. Ivor was a man of principles, and wooden legs didn't fall into the category of polite conversation. Now, if it had been a war injury, that would be different. He could let it slip in a delicately understated comment, merely hinting at altruism, bravery and sacrifice. The wooden leg would be a feather in his cap. But no, for he had been born just too late for the hope of any combat. Instead, it was a motorcyclist with a stomach full of rum who had mowed Ivor down one dark night, twenty years ago now.

Even back then, Ivor had been a proud man. The stick that he carried was a mark of distinction, rather than a prop, a support for someone who couldn't stand by himself. And these days, Ivor had plenty to be proud of. His success in business was equalled only by his rise through the party ranks, until now he stood, ready, for the pinnacle of his success. To become the man the community would look up to. Within a week, the by-election being a mere formality, Ivor would take his rightful place as mayor of the town he had lived in for the last eighteen years.

It was only at times like this, late at night, that he would sit by the fire, thinking about his leg; the secret that could ruin him.

His wife was the only other person who knew, and she knew better than to mention it. she remembered those terrible days after the accident, when her once sprightly and ambitious husband lay with his face turned to the wall, struggling to come to terms with what had happened. Although he might believe that he had, she often thought, he would never quite be the same again.

A couple of days later, Ivor returned home after addressing the party meeting on the approaching by-election. His wife lay already asleep in bed, and Ivor poured himself a glass of whisky and sat at his desk. In a few days time, he would be a very high profile figure in the community. And there was a chance someone might discover his secret. What sort of a politician would he be then? He knew that these days, there were politicians with glass eyes and false teeth and guide dogs, and probably even a couple with wooden legs, but he didn't want to be one of those. Firstly, he thought, they had used their injuries to get into power; celebrated them. And secondly, his wooden leg was his secret and nothing to do with his political career. He imagined the effect of an announcement, just days before the election, of his leg status, and shuddered. Not his style at all. It would stink of vote grabbing. Of going for the 'pity vote'.

And yet, he thought, what would happen if it came out? The party had enough trouble with scandal already, let alone discovering that he had decieved people about his wooden leg. That was why he had moved here in the first place, to make a new start. To not be known as 'the man with the wooden leg'.

Ivor finished his glass of whisky, and poured himself another one. There was really only one thing for it. And with slow, deliberate gestures, he reached for first his writing paper, and then his fountain pen.

Dear Sirs,

It is with a heavy heart that I must offer my resignation from the party, and I understand that the timing could not be worse. However, my reasons, whilst personal, are serious enough, I believe, to warrant such a decision.

I hope that I remain,

Your friend,

Ivor Harrington

Monday, February 13, 2006

moderate comments

so you i will talk soon
so you i will talk

and so when we woke up this morning it was not the third, but the fourteenth. and we thought, "where have the days gone?". maybe they were never there at all. maybe we just slept through them. and then we think, 'what would we have done on those eleven days?'; what petit mort would have passed us by? I am very fond of my memory. I don't miss my span of attention.

"scissor happy and over-keen"

some were angry, and believed that the government were trying to cheat them out of their days. "this is how it starts". As far as I can remember we just climbed on the roof and sat up there and watched, but for some reason it gets hazy around there

to realise

horse in a hat
Originally uploaded by bumpoowilly.
it's the point when you realise that the chin slamming lip synching bell ringing accountancy master wearing a ragged pinstripe suit has made it into the Guinness book of Record before you

a. "damn my german past"

b. Said they slept
through the whole thing.

Didn't hear or see anything.

Didn't hear anything.

The lab boys tell me
that somebody chased Parkette...
through the house
with a power lawnmower
I would have thought that
would have made some racket.

Crazy with the heat.

all over town last night.

What else happened last night?

Well, somebody torched
poor old Father McKeen...
with a flame-thrower
or something.

Must have been a Satan cult
or something.

Either that or that weird human
spontaneous combustion thing.

That really happens sometimes.

Hell of a thing.

That's not all.

Marnie Burke was found
wandering around stark naked...
laughing her ass off,
flipped out.

The psychiatrist figured
she'd probably witnessed...
one of the murders,
and she's just in shock...

but I've seen people
flipped out before...
and this girl
is flipped out for good.

I don't believe
she'll ever stop laughing.

Two bizarre murders
in one night.

This world is chock-full
of nuts, Cooley.

Don't forget that.
Weirdos, schizos, bozos.

Well, accidents happen.
That's all there is to it.

Two bizarre accidents
in one night.


You were just
calling them murders.

We'll just
file a routine report.

Just clean and tidy.